Opportunities are not flashes of lightening from heaven – they are not items on a silver tray. Here is a formula – YOUR LIFE = OPPORTUNITY.
In the words of Parker J Palmer, “My life is not only about my strengths and my virtues: it is also about my liabilities and my limits, my trespasses and my shadow. An inevitable though often ignored dimension in the quest for “wholeness” is that we must embrace what we dislike or find shameful about ourselves as well as what we are confident and proud of.” (Book – “Let you life Speak“).
Opportunity in life and in business starts with ourselves – the whole package, everything we are. There is no good or bad; it is what it is. You cannot curse your life or bemoan your circumstances. Your life and your personage is a one-of-a-kind, fashioned on the anvil of life, made to fit in into the world somewhere somehow. The legacy of Anne Frank is an example of life well-lived with zero regard for adverse circumstances.
Mining for opportunity does not start with a visit to a franchise convention or product show – it starts with understanding ourselves. Opportunity is the sum total of our uniqueness both internally and within our family and environment. Once we understand and have learned to embrace everything we are, opportunities begin to emerge.
I have a friend whose home circumstances were dark and difficult. Once he left home he packed up that part of his life and stashed it in the deepest recess of his mind and threw away the key. Unfortunately this does not work – like the ring in “Lord of Rings” it demands to be found. The sum total of who we are seeps through the cracks bringing with it the rancid smell of separation which left unattended explodes somewhere between our 45th and 52nd birthdays (often interpreted as a ‘mid-life crisis’ resulting in affairs, divorces, a long beard and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.)
We are what we are – born at the right place at the right time with circumstances that are neither good nor bad, only real. It is the wise person who embraces it all and begins to mine it for the gems of opportunity that lie buried within the chaos. Here is the awesome part – the opportunity we find buried within our own stuff is unique and cannot be copied. A unique life spawns unique business and personal opportunities – a style that cannot be copied by competitors and becomes part of the unique selling proposition (USP) of every well-designed business.
Steve Eilertsen is a business coach who can connect you to the opportunities that you may have overlooked before.